Several heroes emerged as Townville held their nerve to win a close encounter with rivals Wrenthorpe that went right down to the final ball.
Victory by four runs lifted the Castleford-based side to the top of the Central Yorkshire League’s Premier Division, but it was a close run thing in a contest that swung one way then the other all afternoon.
Set 191 to win, Wrenthorpe fell behind the asking rate and needed eight-an-over from the last four overs. But they had four wickets left at this stage and although three of them went in quick succession they gave it a real go to take the match into the final over.
With their last pair at the crease they needed to hit a six off the final ball to win or a four to tie only for Jonathan Smith to send a return catch to Jack Hughes to be out for 17 and leave his side all out for 186.
Earlier in their innings Wrenthorpe had been indebted to Jordan Sleightholme, who hit 72, as they stayed in touch with the target required. But there was some good bowling from Townville, particularly from Kylinn Vardhan, who claimed 6-80 from 15 overs, and Hughes, whose 15 overs brought him 3-55.
Opening bowler Richie Bresnan also played a key part with 10 accurate overs that saw him take 1-11.
In Townville’s innings of 190-9 they had looked in all sorts of trouble as only Tim Walton (20), Kris Ward (20) and Vardhan (16) of the top order were able to reach double figures and they stood on a perilous 87-8 after 35 overs.
However, Alex Page, who came in at number 10, made a crucial contribution and in tandem with Dean Woolsey lifted the home side’s score to one they could defend.
Page smashed eight fours and three sixes in a 32-ball knock of 60 that completely transformed the Townville innings while Woolsey gave him good support with 33 not out.
Methley maintained their title challenge and climbed above Wrenthorpe into third place in the Premier with a 43-run win at home to Mirfield Parish Cavaliers.
They overcame a poor start after losing openers Nick Connolly and Richard Foster cheaply with Marcus Walmsley (34) and Chris Holliday (24) beginning the recovery with a 60-run stand for the third wicket.
Ryan Meyer then upped the tempo of the innings as he came in to hit 57 from 52 balls, including three sixes and four fours.
Support came from Matthew Waite, with 32 at almost a run-a-ball and Methley were able to reach 203 when their final wicket fell in the last of their 50 overs.
Mirfield’s reply started soundly enough as they put on 28 for the first wicket, but they then lost four wickets for 10 runs, all to opening bowler Oral Blackford, to slump to 38-4.
Bradley Drake (39) battled to keep the visitors in the hunt, but began to run out of partners before he fell to a Foster catch off the bowling of Connolly to leave the score on 117-7.
Although there was a late flurry of runs it was all over for Mirfield in the 43rd over as they were all out for 160.
After Blackford did the early damage, taking 4-31, wickets were then taken by Waite (2-20), Connolly (3-32) and Walmsley (1-40).
Methley A were no match for title chasing Wakefield St Michael’s in Division One.
Despite making a decent start with Greg Johnson (23) and James Gahan (15) putting on 39 in an opening stand they were all out for only 91 after losing all 10 wickets for 52 runs.
Wakefield had few problems reaching their target in 29.2 overs, although Jason Baddeley and Joshua Thurwell did collect a wicket each.
Townville A remain rooted to the bottom of Division Two after suffering a heavy 214-run defeat to Wrenthorpe A.
Hosts Wrenthorpe piled up 306, although there was wicket success for Ryan Kelsey (2-75), Robert Wood (2-40), Dale Jones (2-55), M Hughes (1-31), Alec Boothroyd (1-32), Joe Turner (1-14) and Bradleygh Kennedy (1-0).
In reply, Townville were never in the hunt as they were all out for 92 with Jones (19) and Hughes (17) top scoring.
Central Yorkshire League positions:
Premier Division (all played seven): Townville 35 points, Birstall 32, Methley 31, Wrenthorpe 31, Carlton 28, Wakefield Thornes 25, Batley 18, Mirfield PC 15, Hunslet Nelson 15, Ossett 8, Altofts 6, Northowram Fields 3.
Division One (all played seven): Scholes 31 points, Wakefield SM 30, Hopton Mills 27, East Ardsley 26, Liversedge 24, Oulton 23, East Leeds 21, Buttershaw SP 19, Wakefield Thornes A 14, Ossett A 10, Methley A 5, Mirfield 2.
Division Two (all played seven): Batley A 32 points, Azaad 32, Birstall A 30, Carlton A 28, Mirfield PC A 27, Altofts A 26, Wrenthorpe A 18, Caribbean 17, Buttershaw SP A 13, Thornhill 13, East Ardsley A 9, Townville A 1.
This Saturday’s fixtures:
Premier Division: Birstall v Townville; Carlton v Methley.
Division One: Methley A v East Ardsley.
Division Two: Townville A v Birstall A.